A son-in-law of Al-Qaeda number two Ayman Al-Zawahiri is believed to be the mastermind of the terrorist plot to blow up US-bound flights from UK, according to Pakistani intelligence sources.
"The mastermind in the planes bombing plot is Zawahiri's son-in-law. He is the guy being looked for," Dawn newspaper quoted an unnamed intelligence official as saying.
The official did not name Zawahiri's son-in-law but said he met one or some of the plotters at a place close to the Pakistan-Afghan border.
Osama Bin Laden's top lieutenant is known to have several sons-in-law. One of them is reported to have been killed in a bombing run at an Al-Qaeda hideout in Tora Bora following the US attack in 2001, the second is said to be in Iranian custody while a third one is in an Egyptian prison.
One report said that one of Zawahiri's daughters had married a son of Osama Bin Laden. Bin Laden's two sons, Mohammad Bin Laden and Saad Bin Laden, are reported to be in Iranian custody, together with Saiful Adil, Sulman Abu Gaith, Shauqi Al Islamboli and Abu Mohammad Al Misri.
Saiful Adil and Abu Mohammad Al Misri are wanted for their role in the 1998 East African embassy bombings, while Islamboli is brother of Capt Khalid Islamboli who assassinated Egyptian president Anwar Sadaat on October 6, 1981.
One of Zawahiri's sons-in-law, Abdur Rehman Al-Maghribi, was reported to have been killed in a US airstrike in Bajaur Agency in January 2006. It is not clear whether the son-in-law in question is Al-Maghribi or someone else, and if it is him then when did the meeting take place and whether he indeed was killed in that airstrike.